Two years ago the Institute of Chartered Accountants began consultations on revisions to its core qualification.
On Tuesday we launched the new ACA.
In between the institute engaged in a significant and wide-ranging consultation process. Soundings have been taken throughout, and indeed beyond, the profession and the results scrutinised until we were sure we had a proposition which met the expectations and demands of the wider business community.
Despite tight deadlines, a certain degree of scepticism on the part of the accountancy profession, and a limited defection north of the border, we have delivered the new qualification.
The ACA qualification has always been regarded as a rite of passage.
The revised syllabus will ensure that the ACA continues to be regarded as the benchmark qualification for those seeking a career in business or practice of whatever size, whilst the streamlined study methods will ensure relevance and cost-effectiveness.
What does this mean in practical terms?
The modern professional has to be flexible, able to contribute across business issues and prepared to cross the borders between traditional disciplines.
The ability to handle complex information; to offer creative thinking on business strategies; to see the big picture as well as understanding the detail; these are all now required of us as modern business advisers and practitioners.
Change for any profession is never easy, and is certainly not undertaken lightly. I firmly believe the changes we have engendered mean that those looking for the best in business advice will continue to turn to qualified chartered accountants.
And our members, who are able to place the letters ACA or FCA after their name, can continue to be confident that they possess one of the leading business qualifications in the world.
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